Five-seed salmon at Bludorn.

Image: Julie Soefer

After much anticipation Aaron Bludorn will finally be cooking for Houstonians daily starting a week from Friday.

Bludorn, the first solo restaurant from the acclaimed chef, will open August 21 at 807 Taft St in the Fourth Ward, previously the location of the shuttered The Pass & Provisions. Here with wife Victoria Pappas—daughter of Chris Pappas of Pappas Restaurants—the Daniel Boulud student and contestant of Netflix's venerable 2018 cooking competition, The Final Table, will focus on seasonal approaches to American cuisine with French techniques.

The menu includes raw bar selections like oysters every way and Maine lobster, plus dry-aged strip loin wagyu from R-C Ranch with bone marrow; Ora salmon with five-seed crunch, avocado crema, and salsa verde; Gulf cioppino in spicy tomato broth; a dry-aged burger; and a short rib tamale pie.

Decorated by Courtney Hill Interiors and Craig Schuster of Schuster Inc., the restaurant emphasizes a neutral color palette, with wood finishes and both modern and mid-century pieces, like a stained-glass element given to Bludorn by Karbach Brewing Co. You'll see subway tiles, velvet banquette seating, exposed timber ceilings, an open concept kitchen, and a raw bar, plus a nine-foot mural of magnolia groves by local artist Jonathan Paul Jackson.

The main dining room at Bludorn.

Image: Julie Soefer

Cherif Mbodji, who worked with Bludorn at Café Boulud in New York, is on board as general manager, while Bludorn will assume the role of chef/owner. Pastry chef Alejandra Salas, who worked at Bar Boulud and The French Laundry, will assume the same position at Bludorn. Her concoctions include hazelnut marjolaine with nougat, hazelnut, and Nutella ice cream; baked Alaska; and beignets.

Darryl Chan of Café Boulud and Jack Mason, master sommelier with Pappas Bros., consulted with Bludorn and Victoria Pappas on the beverage program. Classic-inspired cocktails, craft beer, and a wine list focusing on unique offerings from across the world dominate.

As Bludorn is opening amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the restaurant stresses it's following all guidelines laid out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the restaurant, employees are screened daily and will sanitize thoroughly, while partitions are being installed to separate all tables, which will be six feet apart from one another.

Bludorn will be open 5–10:30 p.m. Mon–Thurs and 5–11 p.m. Fri–Sat to start. Reservations are required via Resy or by phone. For more information, visit the website.

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